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Larry Mahan, the Elvis of Rodeo, has gone to join the great rodeo cowboys of the past at the age of 79. Mahan, born in Salem, Oregon, is considered one of the greatest cowboys to ever grace the sport of rodeo. He was a legend in his own time and his legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.
Mahan’s rise to fame started in 1962 when he won his first championship at the National Finals Rodeo. It was evident from the beginning that Mahan had a natural talent for the sport. He was able to ride any bull that came his way with ease. His quiet confidence and steely determination to succeed made him an instant fan favorite and earned him many accolades throughout his career.
Mahan was not just good at riding bulls, but he was also an all-around cowboy. He competed in saddle bronc and bareback riding. In addition to his rodeo prowess, he was known for his signature black hat. The hat became a symbol of the cowboy lifestyle and was heavily associated with Mahan.
The 1970s were arguably the best period of Mahan’s career. He won the all-around championship six times in a row, a feat that no other cowboy has ever accomplished. His dominance was such that many people even started to doubt if anyone could ever beat him.
Despite his success, Mahan did not let it get to his head. He continued to work hard, always striving to improve his skills and further his knowledge of the sport. He was always willing to share his expertise with younger rodeo cowboys, in the hope of making the sport better for everyone.
Mahan’s contribution to the sport of rodeo went beyond his winning record. He was an ambassador for the cowboy culture and was instrumental in bringing the rodeo to a wider audience. Along with his contemporaries, he helped to make rodeo an internationally recognized sport.
Although Mahan retired from competition in 1980, he continued to be involved in the sport. He became a commentator and mentor, offering his expertise to the next generation of rodeo cowboys. He even started a line of western wear and was the first cowboy to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Mahan’s fame was not limited to just the rodeo world. He appeared in several movies and TV shows, including the 1972 movie “J.W. Coop,” where he played the titular character. He also made guest appearances in popular TV shows such as “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
Mahan’s impact on the sport of rodeo cannot be measured just by his record. He helped to elevate the sport to new heights and inspired a generation of cowboys. His signature black hat became a symbol of the cowboy culture, and his name became synonymous with the rodeo.
The news of Mahan’s passing has brought about a mixture of emotions for his fans. Many are mourning the loss of a legend, while others are celebrating a life well-lived. The rodeo community has come together to remember Mahan’s contributions to the sport and to pay tribute to a true cowboy icon.
The rodeo world has lost a true legend, but Larry Mahan’s legacy will live on. His impact on the sport of rodeo and the cowboy culture will be felt for generations to come. We can take comfort in knowing that his memory will be kept alive through his many accomplishments and the countless lives he touched during his storied career.